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Monday, August 10, 2020

Between the Bread

Soul N’ Vinegar and Salt & Forge raise money for food justice with Hanover BLT.

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2020 at 12:52 PM

“We’ve both tried to find different ways to use our resources and platforms,” says Salt & Forge owner David Hahn. Over the past few weeks, Hahn and Soul N’ Vinegar owner Michelle Parrish have teamed up to create an epic summer staple – the Hanover BLT – to raise money for Richmond Food Justice Alliance. For every sandwich sold, they’re donating $1 to the nonprofit. 

The alliance looks to people living in underserved communities to guide its programming, working to ameliorate food injustice across the city. So it’s fitting that a perfectly ripe, locally grown Hanover tomato would be the highlight of this fundraiser. Bounty to create more bounty – Hahn and Parrish have raised more than $500 so far. 

“Our mission is always focused on helping the community through how we do business,” Parrish says. “We’re really blessed to be able to partner with friends like Salt & Forge to be able to contribute.”

The Hanover BLT ($13) features Soul N’ Vinegar’s bangin’ pimento cheese with extra-thick bacon, charred jalapeño mayo and butter lettuce on toasted country white bread. Folks can order the sandwich from Salt & Forge’s storefront or food truck, and for pickup or delivery at saltandforge.com/order. Just don’t go looking for the BLT on Uber Eats or GrubHub, this is a locals-only operation. “We aren’t allowing any third-party apps to make money off of local businesses,” Hahn notes.

Soul N’ Vinegar and Salt & Forge, like other food establishments in the country, have been hit hard by the pandemic. Mentally, emotionally and monetarily taxing, the weight of running a small business and keeping all humans under their care safe can drive many people into the ground. But Hahn and Parrish say they’re just doing what they can, where they can. “As we got into the pandemic and there was this rise in social justice issues, we’re looking for avenues to contribute,” Hahn says. 

Parrish has been an advocate of voter rights and registration, with an #RVA Citizens page on Soul N’ Vinegar’s website dedicated to educating people about upcoming elections. Hahn says Salt & Forge has donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center and works to feed nurses at every hospital in the city. And now it’s funding the work of the folks on the ground, doing the hard labor of addressing deeply rooted systemic inequities. One sandwich at a time. 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Summertime Gladness

Three new restaurants serve up grilled cheese, tacos and pizza.

Posted By on Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 1:54 PM

Restaurants, breweries and bars are now open if they so choose at half capacity both inside and outside. Three new spots – all less than a month old – are now open downtown, though they’ve been in the works for a while. 

Put your masks on, tip big and check out the newest additions to the Richmond dining scene:

Cheddar Jackson
522 N. Second St.
Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays for takeout and delivery

Cheddar Jackson owner Brandon Jackson says he knew he wanted to own his own spot when he realized that would be the best way to “try my own weird stuff.” For most of his adult life Jackson has been in the music and media industry, working at places like Sony in New York and freelancing as a content manager and video producer since 2013. He’s a creative through and through, and Cheddar Jackson is very much an inventive endeavor. 

“I was sitting around talking with cooks I knew and I said ‘I wonder what a restaurant with no hood would look like?’”

The ideas started flowing and they landed on a hoodless option: grilled cheese. But not just any grilled cheese — epic grilled cheese sandwiches made for both meat eaters and vegans, with a variety of dipping sauces (yes, you should dip your sandwich!), plus tomato soup. 

Cheddar Jackson was supposed to open in October 2019, Jackson says, but between zoning issues and the pandemic it got pushed back. Serendipitous, though – the delay gave the grilled cheese team time to mull over different sandwiches and their vegan iterations. “Originally it was just the regular sandwich and then the ‘vegan version,’” Jackson says. “But then it evolved so much.”

The restaurateur, who identifies as “mostly pescatarian,” wanted to create a robust menu that would cater to all eaters, so no one was getting the short end of the stick. Cheddar Jackson is sourcing vegan sharp cheddar from Greece because most vegan cheddar tastes like plain old American cheese, Jackson says. And that’s simply not good enough.

He’s going the extra mile, seeking out vegan pesto so vegans can enjoy the shop’s Bella Verde. All its dipping sauces are vegan, and while he has yet to find a good substitute for the sardines on flagship sandwich the Grandpa, you better believe he’s going to keep trying. 

Kahlo’s Taqueria & Bar 
718 N. 23rd St.
Open for lunch and dinner daily, dine-in and to-go

Kahlo’s patio is the immediate draw, though the renovated inside is bright and airy, with a spacious dining room and inviting bar. Owner Iliana White-Padilla has been working on her Church Hill restaurant for more than two years and is excited to finally fill the niche of casual tacos and margaritas in the neighborhood. 

White-Padilla comes from a long line of restaurant owners, and once she got out of corporate America she decided she wanted to try her hand at running her own spot. Kahlo’s is a family establishment, run by White-Padilla, her 20-year-old son and her sister. “It’s definitely been challenging but the community has been really supportive,” she says.

The restaurant is a hybrid of counter and full service. Customers order drinks at the bar – margaritas are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, but for our money we’ll take a medium orange ginger on the rocks – and food at the host station, then take a table number to their seats. During our visit, staff refilled drinks and took orders tableside after counter orders were placed, so you’re never left fully unattended. Munch on complimentary chips and salsa while you peruse the menu of tacos, fajitas, burritos, tortas and seafood platters. 

Hot for Pizza
1301 W. Leigh St.
Open for takeout and delivery, check Instagram for hours 

This funky pizzeria is owned and operated by Herbie Abernethy and Josh Novicki – they also own Cobra Cabana a mere six blocks away. 

Abernethy says while he wasn’t sure if he was ready to open another spot, Novicki is “always ready” and Hot for Pizza was born. The tiny restaurant and bar, like Cobra, is not adhering to any state guidelines, meaning – it’ll open the inside when the owners feel it is absolutely safe to do so. Abernethy says Cobra has “pandemic regulars,” a feat that he values above swinging the doors wide for any and everyone hankering to dine out. 

Hot for Pizza is still in its soft opening phase, with flexible hours depending on demand and oven capacity. Abernethy says they are attempting to install a second pizza oven over the Fourth of July weekend. “The first day was … rough,” he laughs. “It was a disaster. But the second day was better, and the third day was even better.”

The musician and restaurateur says that they chose to pursue pies because the space and the budget just worked. Plus, the staff is “passionate about pizza.” Order specialty pies like Runnin’ with the Basil made with vegan mozzarella, or the Regal Beagle with a pesto base and toppings galore. And once the dining room is open and you can enjoy your Yankee Rose salad in the air conditioning, Abernethy says don’t even ponder a table. Head straight for the bar. 

“I’m going to market this as a pizza pub,” Abernethy muses. “We were working one day and afterwards I sat at the bar, took a big long swig of beer and thought, ‘this is a great place to drink.’”

Friday, June 12, 2020

Sweet Resistance

Richmond Bakers Against Racism joins global fundraiser fighting injustice.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 12, 2020 at 12:21 PM

Brown butter sugar cookies. Japanese cheesecake with plum compote. Oat milk tahini pudding.

It’s sweet resistance, Shola Walker writes in a Richmond Bakers Against Racism Instagram post.

Walker used to own Jackson Ward bakery Mahogany Sweets and is currently the community chef for Shalom Farms. She’s one of more than 40 – and counting – Richmond area chefs and bakers participating in the worldwide June 20 fundraiser, Bakers Against Racism.

“I lean into my heritage, all of the salty/bitter and molasses sweet and I let the finished product speak for me,” Walker writes. “I let it speak for every black woman who has ever set her hands to the fire in kitchens for generations. What I bake tells a story, a long story of southern resistance.”

The international bake sale taking place from Paris to Singapore was started in Washington by Kith and Kin pastry chef and James Beard Award winner Paola Velez. All cities participating in the fundraiser will sell the donated sweets – donations start at $20 – and give the money to grassroots, local organizations of their choice.

When Brenner Pass pastry chef Olivia Wilson and Richmond based food illustrator and baker Molly Reeder heard about Velez’s initiative, they jumped at the opportunity to start organizing. “We’ve been wanting to do something to bring the baking community together,” Reeder says.

They brainstormed the five organizations they wanted to contribute to — Richmond for All (richmondforall.com), Neighborhood Resource Center of Fulton (nrccafe.org), Nolef Turns (nolefturns.org), Richmond Peace Team (richmondpeaceteam.org), and Richmond Food Justice Alliance (richmond-food-justice-alliance.ueniweb.com/?utm_campaign=gmb) – and had a friend whip up a graphic.

“We are so blown away by how many bakers want to get involved – when word got out we had so many people messaging us,” Reeder says.

In addition to Walker, participants include Ben Lee from Sub Rosa, Megan Fitzroy from Longoven and Arley Arrington of Arley Cakes. Reeder says they’ll have vegan and vegetarian options, but don’t count on any one theme in your box – they’ll all be filled with bite-sized portions of the expertly made sweet and savory goods. A handy list will accompany the box, too, so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Wilson says that beyond the excitement of participating in a global event, she’s just happy that these local nonprofits will finally get a much-needed spotlight – and money.

“A lot of these organizations are run by women and people of color, these are people who have been doing hard work in our communities for a long time and have not been supported,” Wilson says. “I’m excited to raise money for them and introduce them to people, maybe even some of their neighbors, who don’t know they’re doing great, important work. It’s not glamorous – they really depend on community donations and fundraising.”

Preorder your baker’s dozen online at mollyreeder.com/rbar on Monday and Tuesday. Donations start at $20, and orders can be picked up at the Brenner Pass patio from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 20.

 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Black Restaurants Matter

Here’s how to support African American chefs, restaurants in RVA.

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2020 at 12:25 PM

Barbara Bryan and Sam Campbell will celebrate their restaurant’s second anniversary this September. 

LBJ’s @ Traditionz Smokehouse at 4810 Jefferson Davis Highway, an area that Richmond native Bryan says was lacking in soul food options. The former DuPont employee and part-time caterer says it’s always been her dream to be in the food business, even though it means long hours and constant change. 

“With catering you have a set menu, you know how many people there will be – it’s easy to prepare,” Bryan says. “A restaurant, well, every day is different.”

LBJ’s never closed during quarantine and Bryan says the regulars have been a boon to business. But it also relied heavily on both a lunch buffet and Sunday soul food buffet, which she’s obviously had to nix. She says she isn’t sure when it will reopen for patio or dine-in service: “I’ll be honest. I’m not comfortable with how the situation has been handled – the numbers aren’t low enough for me yet.”

The Virginia Department of Health reported 48,532 coronavirus cases June 5. As of April 29, black patients accounted for 58.3% of Richmond area COVID-19 deaths. In a Business Insider article highlighting the discrepancy between races affected by the virus, Richmond Health District Director Danny Avula said this is due to “decades and centuries of structural inequity.”

Until those numbers go down, Bryan says the restaurant will stick to takeout – LBJ’s is open Tuesdays-Sundays for lunch and dinner. You can order comfort eats like barbecue, pigs’ feet, and liver and onions but Bryan says it’s best-known for fusion soul rolls, stuffed with fried chicken, mac and cheese and collard greens. 

Support the black restaurant and food community beyond the protests:

BLK RVA has done the work for you – its comprehensive list of black-owned restaurants can be found at visitblkrva.com/dining. A few highlights include:

The patio is open at Addis Ethiopian. addisrva.com.

Big Herm himself posts heartwarming Facebook live updates daily about the status of the restaurant (It’s open!) facebook.com/Big-Herms-Kitchen-353099361432572

Brewer’s Cafe is open and has $2 lattes from 3-5 p.m.

Shrimps has daily to-go specials like Fish Friday and Wing Wednesday. instagram.com/shrimpsrva.

Get your wine, tapas and art fix at C’est Le Vin, which just opened its patio. instagram.com/cestlevinrva15

Mama J’s has bottled three of its signature cocktails for to-go.

Spoon Bread Bistro is doing special Father’s Day dinners for pre-order. instagram.com/officialspoonbreadbistro.

Richmond Black Restaurant Experience has created a checklist that you can print and post as a reminder that whatever your cravings, there’s a black-owned restaurant for that. Find the list at vablackrestaurantexperience.com.

And donate to help Richmond Black Restaurants here https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-richmonds-blackowned-restuarants. 

Support food sovereignty for the black community by donating to or volunteering with the following organizations:

Resiliency Garden Initiative, run by Duron Chavis, brings raised garden beds to areas of Richmond with high food insecurity. thenaturalfestival.com.

The Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network comprises farms across 10 states including Virginia. civileats.com.

The National Black Farmers Association is a nonprofit based in Virginia representing black farmers and their families. nationalblackfarmersassociation.org

Friday, April 3, 2020

These Richmond area restaurants are offering to-go food during Covid-19

From gelato to gyros

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 4:29 PM


It’s the beginning of a new month (somehow) and while the state is on lockdown, restaurants are deemed essential services and there are innumerable options out there offering takeaway and delivery.

Here, you’ll find plenty of American, Italian, and Mexican options, plus Indian, Chinese, fusion and European-inspired cuisine. Cuisine categories and restaurants are ordered alphabetically, with links directing you to the fastest ordering system.

Many places are starting to offer delivery through their own online services or through a third party delivery system (Uber Eats, Door Dash etc.) but some places are still only doing takeout via phone calls. We’re also trying to highlight daily and weekly specials that the restaurants are offering, from deals to guest chefs. Check it out:

This list is being updated. See something missing? Email maryscotthfletcher@gmail.com.

American

City Dogs
1316 E Cary St.

1309 W Main St.
The Diner at Hull and Genito
11306 Hull Street Road, Midlothian
The Grill at Libbie and Patterson
5724 Patterson Ave.
Highlights: A curbside tent
Helen’s
2527 W Main St.
Hill Cafe
2800 E Broad St.
Hobnob
6010 Hermitage Road
Hot Chick
7 N 17th St.
Joey’s Hot Dogs
4028 Cox Road, Glen Allen
Kitchenette
Kreggers
2614 W Cary St.
Laura Lee’s
3410 Semmes Ave.
Liberty Public House
418A N 25th St.
Lucy’s
404 N 2nd St.
McCormack’s Whisky Grill
204 N Robinson St.
The Pickle Barrel
12912 Plaza Drive
Rock Falls Tavern
2813 Hathaway Road
Salt & Forge
312 N 2nd St.
Highlights: Dining without the Restaurant
Savory Grain
2043 W Broad St.
Sedona Taphouse
5312 Wyndham Forest Drive Glen Allen
Shore Dog Cafe
435 B North Ridge Road, Henrico
The Tavern
7110 Patterson Ave.
Weezie’s Kitchen
3123 W Cary St.

Bakery/Dessert

Baked RVA
601 North 10th Street, Corner of 10th & Leigh; in front of MCV Bookstore
Carytown Cupcakes
3111 W Cary St.
Shyndigz
1903 W Cary St.
Sugar & Salt
416 N 2nd Str.
Sub Rosa
620 N 25th St.
Whisk
2100 E Main St.
Highlights: Easter-themed cakes

Barbecue

Buz and Ned’s
8205 W Broad St.
1119 N Arthur Ashe Blvd.
Deep Run Roadhouse
12379 Gayton Road
309 N Laurel St.
Oak and Apple
1814 E Main St.
The Pitts
2220 Broad Rock Blvd.
Q Barbeque
1070 Virginia Center Pkwy Glen Allen
13800 Fribble Way Midlothian

Beer

The Answer
6008 W Broad St.
Bingo Brewery
2900 W Broad St.
Final Gravity
6118 Lakeside Ave.
Legend Brewing
321 W 7th St.
Starr Hill
3406 W Leigh St.

Breakfast/Diner

Brook’s Diner
1600 Brook Road
Coco + Hazel
411 North Ridge Road
The Diner
11306 Hull St. Road Midlothian
Fancy Biscuit
1831 W Cary St.
First Watch
Multiple Locations
McLeans
3205 W Broad St.
Nate’s Bagels
21 S Allen Ave.
River City Diner
11430 W Huguenot Road Midlothian
803 E Parham Road
Rise and Shine Diner
10372 Leadbetter Road, Ashland
Rise Biscuits
11561 W Broad St.

Burgers

Beauvine Burger
1501 W Main St.
Boulevard Burger
1300 N Arthur Ashe Blvd.
Burger Bach
101 Heaths Way Road Midlothian
2225 Old Brick Road Glen Allen
Highlights: 50% Off all wine bottles; free Burger Bach growler (while supplies last) and 20% off all beer fills
Carytown Burgers and Fries
3449 W Cary St.
5404 Lakeside Ave. Henrico
Jack Brown’s
5810 Grove Ave.
Station 2
2016 E Main St.

Cafe/Deli

Bamboo Cafe
1 S Mulberry St.
Boychik’s Deli
4024 Cox Road Glen Allen
Branch and Vine
2001 ½ W Main St.
Cafe Zata
700 Bainbridge St.
Cask Cafe
206 S Robinson St.
Coppola’s Deli
2900 W Cary
Curbside Cafe
2525 Hanover Ave.
Cuisine a la Carte
5606 Patterson Ave.
Garnett’s Cafe
2001 Park Ave.
Great Harvest Bread Co.
13541 Midlothian Turnpike, Midlothian
Izzy’s Kitchen
2901 Park Ave.
Lulabelle’s
2012 Staples Mill Road
Mojo’s Philadeli
733 W Cary St.
Philly Steak and Gyro
3443 W Cary St.
SB’s Lakeside Love Shack
6935 Lakeside Ave.
Wooden Spoon Cafe
5714 Patterson Ave.

Caribbean

Charles’ Kitchen
9127-C W Broad

Chinese

Beijing on Grove
5710 Grove Ave.
Fat Dragon
1200 N Arthur Ashe Blvd.
Fresh Wok
5146 Nine Mile Road
Peter Chang
11424 W Broad St.
Tiki Tiki
8917 Patterson Ave.

Coffee

Black Hand Coffee
3101 Patterson Ave.
Blanchard’s Cafe
3121 W Broad St.
Ironclad
1805 E Grace St.
Little Bean Coffee Co.
1732 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Perk!
2620 Buford Road Bon Air
Pulp Fiction
5411 Lakeside Ave.
Riverbend Coffee
2623 E Broad St.
Highlights: Discounted coffee beans
Rostov’s
1618 W Main St.

European

Brenner Pass/Chairlift
3200 Rockbridge St. Suite 100
Highlights: Chairlift coffee & pastry drive-thru Sat. April 4 Cafe Rustika
414 E Main St.
European Taste
10604 Patterson Ave.

French

Chez Max
10622 Patterson Ave.

Fusion + Eclectic


Arroz
Boka Tako
2557 Sheila Lane
Chicken Fiesta
Multiple Locations
Foo Dog
1537 W Main St.
Noodles & Company
Highlights: For every family meal package purchased, Noodles will donate a regular-sized bowl back to healthcare workers
814 W Grace St.
1601 Willow Lawn Drive
Palani Drive
401 Libbie Ave.
Perch
2918 W Broad St.
Highlights: Live streaming dinners and Instagram chef demos
Saison
23 W Marshall St.
Highlights: Smash burger pop-up Sat. April 4
Sen Organic
2901 W Cary St.
Soul Taco
321 N 2nd St.
1215 E Main St.
Highlights: Taco kits
Wild Ginger
412 E Grace St. (pickup from Wong Gonzalez)
YaYas Cookbook
11674 W Broad St.

Greek/Mediterranean

Bell Greek
11360 Iron Bridge Road Chester
11307 Polo Place Midlothian
Carytown Gyro
3459 W Cary St.
Greek on Cary
3107 W Cary St.
Stella’s
1012 Lafayette St.
Sticks Kebob
1700 Willow Lawn Drive

Healthy/Vegan/Vegetarian

The Daily Kitchen and Bar
2934 W Cary St.
12201 W Broad St. Henrico
Organic Krush
3406 Pump Road Short Pump
Pit and the Peel
1051 E Cary St.
Phoenix Garden
7103 Brook Road
Roots/
939 W Grace St.

Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt

Gelati Celesti
Multiple locations
Jiji Frozen Custard

Indian

Anant Cuisine of India
4348 Pouncey Tract Road Glen Allen
Lehja
11800 W Broad St.
India K’ Raja
9051 W Broad St. Henrico
Nama
15 W Broad
Pakwaan
14862 Hull St. Chesterfield

Irish

O’Tooles
4800 Forest Hill
1319 Midlothian Turnpike
Sine

1327 E. Cary St.

Italian

Amici de Enzo
36 Broadstreet Road Manakin-Sabot
Azzurro
6221 River Road
Capriccios
9127 W Broad St.
Casa Italiana
8801 Three Chopt Road
Ciao Capri
10478 Ridgefield Pkwy. Henrico
Enoteca Sogna
1223 Bellevue Ave.
Frank’s
3054 Stony Point Road
Franco’s
9010 Staples Mill Road
Gersi
805 N Davis Ave.
La Cucina
11400 W Huguenot Road Midlothian
Leonardo’s Pizza and Pasta
10833 W Broad St. Glen Allen
Maldini’s
4811 Forest Hill Ave.
Mama Cucina
4028-O Cox Road, Glen Allen
Piccola Italy
1100 W Main St.
Portico
12506 River Road

Japanese + Sushi

Fighting Fish
912 N Arthur Ashe
Miyabi Sushi
1712 E Main St.
Osaka
5023 Huguenot Road
Sumo San
1725 E Main St.
Highlights: Health care professionals and first responders get free miso
Sticky Rice
2232 W Main St.
Tokyo Sushi
10274 Staples Mill Road

Latin American

La Bodega
104 N 18th St.

Lebanese

Natalie’s Taste of Lebanon
3601 Cox Road Suite A

Mexican

Abuelita’s
6400 Midlothian Turnpike
Ay Caramba
204 E Grace St.
Casa Del Barco
320 S 12 St.
El Cerro Azul
2650 Anderson Hwy. Powhatan
13561 Midlothian Turnpike, Midlothian
En Su Boca
1001 N Blvd.
La Milpa
6925 Hull St. Road
Margarita’s Cantina
101-107 N 18th St.
Nuevo Mexico
3088 Stony Point Road
Pepe’s
9550 Midlothian Turnpike
Wong Gonzalez
412 E Grace St.
Wong’s Tacos
201 A Maltby Blvd. Henrico

Modern American

Crafted
4900 Libbie Mill E Blvd.
Dutch & Company
400 N 27th St.
Franklin Inn
800 N Cleveland St.
Galley Market
2805 Hathaway Road
Grisette
3119 E Marshall St.
Highlights: Tamale Time Fri. April 3 with chef Zach Garza Mosaic Catering
3001 Cutshaw Ave.
Highlights: $60 family meal
Mosaic Restaurant
6229-A River Road
Rowland
2132 W Main St. Highlights: 25% off wine
The Roosevelt
623 N 25th St.
Postbellum
1323 W Main St.
Social 52
2619 W Main St.
The Stables
201 N Belmont Ave.
Southbound
3036 Stony Point
Tazza Kitchen
Multiple Locations
Toast
7007 Three Chopt Road
3730 Winterfield Place Midlothian

Pizza

Assante's Pizza
1845 W Broad St.
Benny Ventano’s
2501 W Main St.
Belmont Pizzeria
602 N Belmont Ave.
Billy Pie
6919 Patterson Ave.
Bottom’s Up Pizza
1700 Dock St.
Brooklyn Pizza Authority
10613 Hull Street Road Midlothian
Extreme Pizza
11653 W Broad St. Henrico
Hop Craft
1600 W Cary St.
Jo-Jo’s Famous PIzza
1201 E Main St.
La Vera Pizzeria
214 Hull St.
Maglio’s
7320 Hancock Village Drive Chesterfield
Mary Angela’s
3345 W Cary St.
Pizza and Beer
2553 W Cary St.
Pupatella
1 N Morris St.
10921 W Broad Glen Allen
Superstars Pizza
5700 Patterson Ave.

Pub Fare

The Camel
1621 W Broad St.
Cobra Cabana
901 W Marshall St.
Home Team Grill
1630 W Main St.
Hurleys Tavern
4028 Cox Road Suite J Glen Allen
The Local Eatery and Pub
1106 W Main St.
Uptown Alley
6101 Brad McNeer Pkwy. Midlothian

Seafood

Ale Wife
3120 E Marshall St.
Highlights: Neighborhood doorstep delivery
Conch Republic
11 Orleans St.
Halterman’s Eatery
109 Commons Park Circle Suite A, Manquin
Latitude Seafood Co.
9216 Stony Point Pkwy
15532 WC Commons Way
Rappahannock
320 E Grace St.
SaltBox Oyster Company
1601 Willow Lawn
Highlights: Friday fish fry, Saturday oyster roast
Sam Miller’s
1210 E Cary St.
Stuart’s Fresh Catch
2400 Mechanicsville Turnpike

Soul Food

Ms. Girlee’s Kitchen
4809 Parker St.
Shrimps
17 W Brookland Park Blvd.

Southern

Julep’s
420 E Grace St.
Lunch | Supper
1215 Summit Ave.
Maple Bourbon
1116 E Main St.
Shagbark
4901 Libbe Mill E Blvd.

Steakhouse

Buckhead’s Chophouse
8510 Patterson Ave.

Thai

Bangkok Thai
11 W Hundred Road Chester
Mom’s Siam
2811 W Cary St.
My Noodle & Bar
1600 Monument Ave.
Sabai
2727 W Broad St.
Thai Diner
8055 W Broad St.
Thai Flavor
4024 D Cox Road Glen Allen
Thai Gourmet
9955-F Kings Charter Drive Ashland

Vietnamese

Mekong
6004 W Broad St. Henrico
Pho 95
1601 Willow Lawn Drive

Wine

Adarra
618 N 1st St.
Barrel Thief
5805 Patterson Ave.
Highlights: add on charcuterie boards
Switch
13 W Broad St.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Heart Work

Sugar Shack and Luther Burger give out free meals during pandemic.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2020 at 10:44 AM

Generosity is nothing new to Ian Kelly. 

The Sugar Shack and Luther Burger founder says for the seven years his business has been around, it’s always looked for opportunities to help. “I don’t see the free meals ending any time soon.”

The combo doughnut and burger joint on Huguenot Road has been giving out meals, free of charge, to anyone who shows up and inquires between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. 

The weekend of March 20-22 Kelly says eight employees came in and they were able to prep 5,000 burgers in advance of the customer rush. “That was fantastic, at the end of the night, so many people had come through,” Kelly says. 

While the restaurant recently dedicated a day of free food for first responders and nurses, Kelly says the program is particularly focused on out-of-school kids. He says he’s trying to figure out how to safely and efficiently get the free meals to low-income areas where a lot of kids live. Until then, no need to call ahead. Just show up. 

For those who can afford to pay for their meal, please do. People can also donate to the cause online (lutherburger.square.site) so that the restaurant can continue its free food program. And yes, it now has vegan options too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Accentuate the Positive

Some good food news to get you through the next few days.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 2:18 PM

As humans the world over continue to grapple with a new normal, restaurants, coffee shops and markets are doing their best to survive. In turn, they’re keeping us sane, and adding a bit of levity to the dire day-to-day.

From community-supported agriculture to cocktail kits, here are some bits of good news:

Coffee shop Pulp Fiction is holding a Cleanse for a Cause. It’s worked with Rudy’s Mushrooms to create immunity-supporting juices, with proceeds benefiting Richmond Restaurants United. Juice orders can be placed online.

Charles City-based Amy’s Organic Garden has reopened its CSA program, which typically runs from May to August. Email amy@amysorganicgarden.com for details, and look out for an online ordering system from the certified organic farm.

Seven Hills Food has got the meats. Starting Friday, March 27, it will be set up in Longoven’s parking lot from noon until it sells out. Place your order by emailing Bobby at bmaddox@sevenhillsfood.com. Meat prices will range from $60-$120 with higher end and value cuts available.

Reservoir Distillery is offering small amounts of free liquid hand sanitizer. The limit is 10 ounces per person. Bring your own bottle.

Cavalier Produce wants to help support local farms and industry — when you buy a box of produce and specialty foods you can opt to donate one to a restaurant industry worker.

We cannot emphasize enough that there are many area restaurants, coffee shops and markets offering take-away specials. You can pick up freshly baked croissants from Sub Rosa and bacon- and egg-topped burgers from Jack Brown’s (with cheap, fast delivery to boot). The Richmond Times-Dispatch has an updated, comprehensive list of what is on offer, but here are a few recent highlights:

Broken Tulip is offering quarts of “nourishing food for just $10 from pozole to sweet potato and chard daal curry. Each order comes with your choice or red rice or grits. It sold out of almost everything within a couple hours on Monday, but check back Thursday for new quart options and suggested wine pairings.

Piccola Italy Pizza and Subs is selling homemade dough in addition to calzones, pies, wine, cheesesteaks and wings. Give it a ring at 355-3111 and pick up from the takeout window or order delivery. A build-your-own-calzone should keep the little ones busy for at least five minutes.

Brenner Pass knows that grocery store shelves have been barren, so it’s offering a Market Menu in addition to rotating family meals. Orders can be placed starting at 2 p.m. Wednesday for pickup on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. Options range from salad kits to house-made pasta and steaks.

The Roosevelt is selling its Seersucker for two cocktail mix, sans the booze. Add to your online dinner order, then mix in your own brown water at home.

Starr Hill has pickup and delivery brews and snacks. Staffers double bag your order, then a friendly, gloved hand passes it off. It just restocked on Tuesday, so you should be able to find all your fave brews.

Adarra is spreading natural wine love around the city. For $65, get three “organic/biodynamic/natural bottles of wine hand-selected by your friendly Adarra somms, brought to your door with descriptions and our contact info to keep the conversation going if you have any questions.” Each order gets one red, white and orange or rose. Order your vino for Thursday delivery by emailing info@restaurantadarra.com with name, phone number and address.

In addition to small plates and mains, Helen’s is also offering some do-it-yourself options. Order pancake mix with instructions and Michelada mix with a six-pack of Pacifico for an at home boozy brunch.

The Answer wants to take your mind off of dire news for a moment with its new double India pale ale.
"Heh Heh Heh Hrr Rrr Heh Heh Heh Heh Huh Rakau! Ha Hrr.” Eight percent alcohol should do the trick. Stop by from 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Order online from locally owned grocery Libbie Market. It’s quick, easy and workers bring your bags to your car, no contact involved. Say thanks! Last we checked, it even had paper towels.

Fancy Biscuit has been offering daily deals including half-off alcohol. On Wednesday spend $5 and get a free cake cup or mocha latte with your purchase. Check its social feeds for updated specials.

Kudzu is taking orders through Thursday at 6 p.m. for its first ramen kit pickup starting Friday.

Friday, March 20, 2020

The Helpers

How you can help your favorite restaurants, servers, bars, coffee shops and markets.

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 5:35 PM

We’re two days into spring and while blue skies and warm temps belie the current state of the world, there’s always a silver lining.

Fred Rogers said look for the helpers, so here they are — and you can be one, too. Below find resources if you are currently out of work and in the food and beverage industry. And if you’re lucky enough to be a salaried worker taking conference calls at home, here’s how you can help your favorite restaurants, bars, coffee shops, markets and maybe even that one server who always remembers your name.

This list is being updated — are we missing a great resource? Email maryscottfletcher@gmail.com.

Donate to and support out-of-work food and bev folks here:

Richmond Restaurant Workers Relief Fund. Created by chef Brittanny Anderson of Brenner Pass, Chairlift and Metzger Bar and Butchery, this Gofundme aims to “help the most vulnerable” of workers who have recently lost their jobs due to COVID-19. It’s partnering with local nonprofit the Holli Fund to distribute the money raised “as quickly as possible” to area restaurant workers.

TONIGHT: Holli Fund Happy Hour.
Hang out with RVA personalities like Anderson, Christina Dick and Nikki-Dee Ray as they toast to a virtual happy hour. Text DONATE and the amount to 804-518-8333. You can sip alone together by following the hashtag #ServingOurServersRVA. Just imagine you’re seated at your favorite bar on a Friday night and tip accordingly, and if you’re a terrible tipper no time like the present to correct bad habits!

Other GoFundMe pages

RVA Hospitality

Eat Associate Relief Fund

Richmond Restaurant Group

R&L Hospitality Relief Fund

Use your voice and John Hancock

Sign the Save America’s Restaurants Petition The petition calls for engagement with local industry leaders and restaurant associations to outline a swift plan considering factors such as providing emergency employment benefits to hourly and salaried workers, waiving payroll tax, endorsing rent and loan abatement for workers, working with state liquor authorities, and waving zone and permit restrictions.

You can find contact information for your Virginia legislators here: virginiageneralassembly.gov. Sample scripts to read to your lawmaker can be found here: eater.com/2020/3/17/21184315/how-to-call-representatives-restaurants-bailout-relief-script.

Small business owners
Take this survey (vec.virginia.gov/node/11707) through Friday, March 27. The Virginia Employment Commission will collect this data and share the results with state and federal partners.

Chefs and restaurant leaders
Take this James Beard Foundation survey: surveymonkey.com/r/89C7L9B. The intent is to gather data so the foundation can “provide valuable information to legislators drafting emergency and longer-term legislation.”

If you are out of work and need assistance:

Apply for assistance from the Holli Fund
The Holli Fund offers $750 grants to people in the industry “who are experiencing an economic crisis such as loss of income due to illness, injury, death of an immediate family member, coronavirus restrictions or other emergency.” Checks are made out directly to the service provider for bills such rent, mortgage and utilities. These grants are not for medical expenses.

Check out Another Round Another Rally It’s offering $500 relief grants for hospitality workers.

Bartenders and spouses of bartenders
The United States Bartenders’ Guild is accepting applications for its bartender emergency assistance program: usbgfoundation.org/beap.

Apply for emergency relief from the Restaurant Worker Community Foundation: southernsmoke.org/smoke/application.

Those who can, cook. Those who can’t, order to-go:

Mayor Levar Stoney has relaxed parking regulations in the city so food can be picked up easily curbside by guests.

ABC has also released some guidance concerning the curbside pickup of libations. An ABC licensee can deliver wine and beer to a customer curbside if that person ordered the alcohol electronically and is parked on the retailer’s premises. A licensee with a delivery permit can also deliver to off-site locations.

Ale Wife
Chef Lee Gregory is posting daily menus on Instagram with options for one, two or four people plus dessert, wine and beer. It’s also adding 20% auto gratuity to the checks to help out its staff, which we love to see.

Barrel Thief
Shop your favorite bottles at a discount and have them delivered or pick them up yourself. For now it’s open from noon to 6 p.m. daily.

Billy Pie
Order wine by the bottle, pizza and cream puffs.

Boulevard Burger
Curbside burgers and shakes

Brenner Pass
Check out its Instagram for the daily family meal updates (main course, two sides and dessert for $60). It also has beer, wine and Haribo gummies.

Brenner Pass and Chairlift
Get three bottles of red, white or combo bottles for $40-$60.

Deep Run Roadhouse
Order online or over the phone; West End location is offering free delivery from in-house staff.

Dutch and Co.
Pre-order all the fixings for a gorgeous cheese plate online.

Fat Dragon
Order for delivery or pickup and get your growlers filled.

Fighting Fish
Curbside pickup or free delivery. Try the $15 lunch box.

Grisette
Quick curbside pick up and ait’s having fun to boot. Look for pastrami, short rib and sausage this weekend.

Hop Craft RVA
Order hand-tossed pies and four-packs to-go.

Hot Chick
Beer, wine and hot chicken.

Izzy’s Kitchen
Pickup and delivery sandwiches.

Jack Browns RVA
Burgers, bottles, cans and fries.

Joe’s Inn
Pick up at Shield’s Market 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Perch
From business boxed lunches to a la carte dinner items and booze, Perch has you covered.

Pizza and Beer
$10 crowlers and more

The Pitts
Dive-bar barbecue enjoyed in the comfort of your home.

Red Salt
Sushi on the fly with tips going to hourly associates.

Rappanannock
Grab and go growlers and special curbside pick up menu with bivalves.

Sabai
Takeout and curbside pick up daily noon to 10 p.m.

Southbound RVA
Offering daily takeout menus priced for two or four people

Toast
Daily food specials plus beer and wine.

Union Market
Sliders and soups to go.

Wild Ginger
Curbside and delivery — all tips and roundups go to staff.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Of Pie and Fear

A Proper Pie worker talks about what closings mean for restaurant workers and what you can do to help.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2020 at 2:48 PM

It happened so quickly. On Sunday, March 15, a woman picking up our last slice of coconut cream pie told me that she was delivering it to a friend in chemo treatment. “She said cancer can’t keep her from her cream pies!”

Another customer tipped $20 on a $24 order. He told us how much it meant to him and his family that Proper Pie Co. was still open.

But on Monday, March 16, I got a call that myself, along with all of my co-workers, were being laid off for the foreseeable future. The language was intentional: A layoff versus suspension, or pausing the business, made us eligible for unemployment.

From the outside, the restaurant industry can seem like an alternate world. A bunch of mostly 20-somethings existing in a space where a 2 a.m. bedtime is reasonable, smoking is the norm and savings are an anomaly. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked by family and friends when I’m planning to get a real job. But from my perspective, hospitality is one of the most real jobs I can get.

Patients freshly released from Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center would swing by, ID bracelets still on, to snag their first taste of freedom. We have pie-babies who have been raised coming into the shop since before they could walk, and regulars who barely need to speak before we are wrapping up their go-to.

Food brings people together, but in the wake of COVID-19 this has bewilderingly become a dangerous activity.

It started out as a typical work joke. We in hospitality are nothing if not hardy, and everyone needs food! There was no way this could touch us. The Big Bird meme of “we ride at dawn” went through various group chats as people chuckled. Our regulars, many of them health care workers, kept coming.

A few days later we introduced more strict sanitation practices. Wiping down all contact surfaces regularly, requesting customers swipe their own cards for payment and setting up a phone sanitation station by the clock-in computer. No more eating in the soup closet. No more phones but in our designated lockers. No more handshaking.

It was novel and I was still unbothered, but whispers began. One of our managers, a father who has worked at the shop virtually since the beginning, was concerned.

“I just hope that this doesn’t impact our business, but at this point it seems like that’s an inevitability,” he said. His daughter’s school had recently shut down, and he and his wife were already feeling the pressure of day care.

Saturday, March 14, National Pi Day, saw customers lined up around the block, spaced 3 feet apart. Friendly faces, big tips and lots of smiles, but something was hanging over us. More cancellations rolled in and our normally bright and joke-cracking crew was dim.

“I just signed that lease on my new apartment, but I may have to let that go. …”

“My mom is immuno-compromised and since I work around so many people it’s unsafe for her to be around me. She’s quarantined and I don’t know when I’m going to be able to see her again.”

“I don’t have any savings.”

You know how this ends. Out of love for our community and care for employees, Proper Pie has closed, along with many other restaurants and bars across Richmond. Within days, hundreds of people are suddenly unemployed, many living paycheck-to-paycheck and supporting families. Most of the people I know have filed for unemployment.

So where are your favorite servers, bartenders and chefs now? Honestly, not in a great place. We need your help.

Most of us are extroverts who have suddenly gone from interacting with hundreds of people a day to maybe two. I know several industry people who had been struggling with self-harm and suicidal thoughts and had been using work as a very effective escape. They are quarantined and left to fight their demons alone, and I’m worried.

I’ve seen calls to purchase restaurant gift cards, but as far as I know that money bypasses the busers, dishwashers, servers, hosts and others who make that restaurant hum.

Instead, consider takeout if you are comfortable with it. You’d better believe restaurants are taking extreme sanitation and distancing measures, and takeout employs staff that desperately needs income right now. Tip generously. For a comprehensive list of the restaurants offering takeout, check out this roundup from CBS-6: wtvr.com/news/local-news/these-richmond-restaurant-breweries-bakeries-and-coffee-shops-are-offering-curbside-pickup.

Follow your favorite restaurants on social media. Events are changing by the hour and that’s the best place to learn what would mean the most to them and how we can all help. For instance, on Friday, March 20, local nonprofit the Holli Fund is holding a virtual happy hour to raise money for out-of-work servers: instagram.com/p/B936osOFjhG.

Support Richmond Restaurants United – at richmondrestaurantsunited.com – is a group of local restaurant owners pushing our government for a stimulus package to help restaurant owners and employees, including an ongoing social distancing wage. If we can bail out car manufacturers and Wall Street, surely we can help our widespread hospitality industry.

Lastly, please reach out to friends or friends of friends who work in the hospitality or food industry. Maybe FaceTime while cooking dinner, or share some good gossip. We live to connect with others over food, and when you take that away the hit isn’t just financial.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Awards, expansions, Kahlos Taqueria & Bar and a new owner at Dairy Bar

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2020 at 2:23 PM

It’s that time of year when the annual James Beard Award nominations honoring the best chefs, restaurants and food journalists are announced. For the fourth year, brother and sister bakers Evin and Evrim Dogu of Church Hill’s Sub Rosa Bakery got a semifinalist nomination for outstanding baker. After being recognized for the first time last year, Sunny Baweja joins Washington chefs Amy Brandwein of Centrolina and Jon Sybert of Tail Up Goat with a nomination for best chef, mid-Atlantic. As of April, Baweja will celebrate 10 years as chef and owner of Lehja, considered one of the finest Indian restaurants in the country, not just Virginia. Fans of Sub Rosa and Lehja will have to be patient, though, because the finalists aren’t announced until March 25 at 9 a.m., with the awards gala slated for May.

Eat Restaurant Partners, never one to pass up an opportunity to expand its empire, have scooped up the building that used to house Aloi. The group that brought Richmond Fat Dragon, Boulevard Burger and Brews, Wong Gonzalez, Foo Dog and eight others is looking to improve Scott’s Addition’s sushi game with Lucky AF, an Asian fusion restaurant. Eat’s president, Chris Tsui, has said that the group has been wanting to do sushi in Scott’s Addition for years now but hadn’t found just the right spot. Like the group’s other holdings, you can expect Lucky AF to offer a casual, late night vibe. Look for a late spring or early summer opening.

Farther east, Union Hill is getting a new eatery, Kahlos Taqueria & Bar, located on the ground floor of the 23rd Street Triangle building and due to open by the end of the month. Kahlos comes to Richmond courtesy of a Charlottesville family that owned restaurants there. Iliana White and her husband Brandon will manage and build out the space, her sister will tend bar and her mother, Morena Arevalo, will take on chef duties, making tortillas in-house daily. Just don’t expect an Americanized take on Mexican decor with sombreros and serapes. White is going for a more modern, industrial vibe inspired by Kahlo’s hometown of Coyoacan, Mexico. The good news for Richmond’s patio-obsessed is that Kahlos will have a 700-square-foot outdoor space that will allow it to seat around 70 people between the dining room and patio.

You’re very Richmond if … you have fond memories of eating at the Dairy Bar long before most of the city’s residents had any clue where Scott’s Addition was. After 23 years, Dairy Bar owners Bill and Patricia Webb were ready to retire and sold the venerable building where countless breakfasts, lunches and ice cream sundaes have been enjoyed since 1946. Buying the business is someone who should know a little about running it: longtime employee Corey Martin, who isn’t looking to shake things up radically. Under consideration is an expansion of the menu and maybe, just maybe, adding dinner hours somewhere down the road. But for now, Richmond can rest assured that the best milkshakes in town aren’t going anywhere because neither is the Dairy Bar.

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